The Unwritten Rules

MonopolyPeople the world over have played the game of Monopoly and I would hazard a guess that almost everybody plays by at least one unwritten rule – accumulating money in Free Parking that a player “wins” when they land on it. How many people were surprised to discover this “rule” is not written in the rules? And yet, it is a common practice of play. The question two of my kids raised was, “How does this happen the world over, generation after generation?”

It is a great question and a beautiful illustration of what happens in families, places of work and social systems. There are the rules and then there are the rules. The first set of rules is written the handbook, in policies and procedures, in personnel manuals. You won’t find the second set written down anywhere but they guide behaviour just as surely, and even more so, as instructions do. And the things we don’t talk about – in a family, organization or social system’s reality or history can often have more power and influence than the things we do talk about. They influence dynamics and lived patterns and they generate unexplained or seemingly unexplainable behaviour.

This is one of the places where Worldview Intelligence has an impact. Through an exploration of some or all of the six dimensions, using powerful questions from those dimensions and bringing healthy doses of reflection and curiosity, hidden dynamics become visible and can be talked about in compassionate, non-threatening ways.

Workplace cultures are self-perpetuating and organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they are getting. Attempts to make changes are often met with failure because of this. The stories people tell, often without thinking about them, are one way that culture gets communicated and shared in an organization.

Worldview Intelligence offers a structured approach to illuminating the stories, dynamics and patterns that people are often silent about. It invites people to become more conscious and intentional about the stories they want to tell, behaviours they want to perpetuate and patterns they want to have flourish and thrive. It offers a chance to “rewrite” the unwritten rules and to do so collectively.

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